Justice News

Department of Justice
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Former Medical Doctor Pleads Guilty in Washington, D.C. to Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct with Minors in Kenya

A former medical doctor pleaded guilty today in Washington, D.C., to engaging in illicit sexual conduct in Kenya, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Assistant Director in Charge Valerie Parlave of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. 

John D. Ott, 67, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton in the District of Columbia to one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place.  Ott was charged in an information filed on March 21, 2012.

According to filed court documents and proceedings, Ott was a former medical doctor who worked for non-governmental organizations and hospitals in Kenya.  Court records show that Ott also started an orphanage in Kenya.  Ott admitted that between approximately January 2004 and September 2012, he engaged in illicit sexual conduct in Muhuru Bay, Sori and Kendu Bay, Kenya, with at least 14 minors, who ranged in age from approximately nine to 17 years old when the illicit sexual conduct began.  Ott admitted that he frequently paid for schooling and provided other financial support, including housing, for minors with whom he engaged in illicit conduct.

Ott has been in federal custody since he was arrested in December 2012, following his deportation from Tanzania.  Engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  Ott’s sentencing has been scheduled for July 26, 2013.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Keith A. Becker of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ari Redbord of the District of Columbia.  The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office.  Significant assistance was provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Updated September 15, 2014